PALMETTO -- To reduce the chance of a violent crime after the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Palmetto, the Palmetto Central Redevelopment Agency will host the Jan. 18 Multicultural Festival immediately after the parade at Lincoln Park.
The Multicultural Festival has given people in the community a way to redirect energy, celebrate diversity and honor King, said organizer Antoinette Kilgore.
The Palmetto Youth Center plans the 3-mile parade in honor of the slain civil rights leader. Chris Lukowiak, youth center executive director, said there were no incidents of violence last year.
"We encourage the folks to go over to Lincoln Park. It gives folks who come to the parade another outlet," Lukowiak said.
He said the event supports local vendors, helps out the community and keeps incidents to a minimum.
"It's a great partnership," said Lukowiak. "We encourage our kids to compete in the talent show they have every year."
Kilgore said the festival will feature the Palmetto Youth Center Extravagance talent show, a lineup of local and regional acts. The Truly Bless Youth Mass Choir, Latraia Savage and the Allstars, Voces Libre and Democracy Reggae Band will perform.
The show begins at 3 p.m. and end at 9 p.m.
There will also be free rides, food and craft vendors. Kilgore said there is still room for more vendors.
"The deadline is Jan. 10 for vendors to submit applications," Kilgore said.
Interested vendors can call 941-723-4988 or go by the CRA office, 715 Fourth St. W., Palmetto, to pick up an application.
This is the festival's third year in existence and second as apart of the MLK Day events. The event was held in March at Lincoln Park in its first year.
Lukowiak said events last year were a success and he's looking forward to this year.
The Parade and Festival are a part of weekend of events to honor King. Festivities kick off with a banquet Friday, Jan. 17, at the
Palmetto Youth Center, the parade starts at noon and Multicultural Festival at 3 p.m. Saturday. The weekend ends with a church service at 6 p.m. at the youth center.
Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.